Odorous House Ant: This ant is small and shiny black in color. They are often referred to as sugar ants. The name is derived from the strong odor given off when the ants are crushed. Workers are all the same size and forage in long, distinct trails. Nesting sites may be almost anywhere. Outdoors they make shallow soil nests under any material on the ground, within hollow trees, or in any other cavity available. Indoors they nest in wall voids, under insulation in crawl spaces, or within cavities in the wood. Sweet materials like honeydew or other sugar sources are their preferred foods.
Important in Control: Control of most ants includes correction of the attractions that drew them to a property, including harborage sites, food sources, and moisture conditions. Elimination of insects that provide protein or honeydew sources reduces ant foraging in an area, very important for this species, and cleanup of unnecessary debris or objects on the soil that provide harborage eliminates nesting. In other words: they like moisture and food so you will usually find them in kitchens and bathrooms.
Carpenter Ant: The usual habitat of a colony of carpenter ants is within wood, often wood buried or partially buried in the soil. Foods are both carbohydrates and protein, with insects a major part of the diet. They are capable of biting. As they expand their colony they eject “frass”, which is wood chips and other debris such as leftover insect parts. This frass is often seen in structures before the ants are, as they are primarily nocturnal in habit.
Carpenter ants are easily identified as a larger ant, often a quarter inch long or more. They are usually black or black and red.
Important in Control: Finding and treating directly into the nest with a residual insecticide will result in effective kill of the ants. Reduction of excessive moisture in the structure and removal of unnecessary wood materials outdoors will reduce the attraction of an area.
Velvety tree ant: As its name indicates, this ant has fine hairs on its body giving it a velvety look. The size is in between a house ant and carpenter ant. It can be stinky like the odorous house ant too. This is a very fast moving, aggressive ant, and while it cannot sting it will readily bite and cause a stinging sensation with a spray of formic acid. Nests are usually associated with wood. This may be a rotting tree root system in the soil, hollow trunks or trees, or old tree stumps, and they can often be found foraging up and down very tall tree trunks, feeding on honeydew or on other insects. They commonly invade structures, particularly where tree limbs contact the building, and forage within.
Important in Control: It is very important to keep trees, bushes and other plants off of your buildings because these ants can infest structures. Control of most ants includes correction of the attractions that drew them to a property, including harborage sites, food sources, and moisture conditions. Elimination of insects that provide protein or honeydew sources reduces ant foraging in an area, very important for this species, and cleanup of unnecessary debris or objects on the soil that provide harborage eliminates nesting.